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article imageJames Franco to star in 'Of Mice and Men' on Broadway

By Angela Atkinson     Nov 26, 2013 in Entertainment
In a dual Broadway debut, James Franco and Chris O’Dowd will star in a new production of John Steinbeck’s "Of Mice and Men", directed by Anna D. Shapiro.
While Franco will portray street-smart George, O’Down will take on the role of simple but strong Lennie in the Depression-era tragedy.
The show hasn’t been seen on Broadway since 1974, when Kevin Conway and James Earl Jones starred as George and Lennie, respectively. The stage show was adapted for the silver screen in 1939, when Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney, Jr. took the starring roles. It was revived in 1992 starring Gary Sinise and John Malkovich.
This iteration of the Broadway show will preview on March 19 at the Longacre Theatre, but the official opening is April 16. The entire cast will be announced in upcoming weeks.
Franco announced the project earlier this year and offered details on casting and direction last month, but producer David Binder officially announced the opening on Tuesday.
Franco is well known for his roles in films such as The Planet of the Apes, Spiderman, Howl, 127 hours and more. He’s also expected to publish a debut novel next year, following a recently published collection of short stories. He also makes his own art (including a show he curated at London’s Victoria Miro gallery earlier this year).
And while he’s best known for his film roles, Franco isn’t a stranger to the stage—he directed a multi-media dance-theatre piece two years ago, and took part in a New York performance-art festival called Performa which presented an attempt to contact the spirit of Tennessee Williams in the hotel where the playwright died, according to The Guardian.
Franco has been on the lookout for a Broadway role for awhile now and was planning to star with Nicole Kidman in a version of Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth, which never ultimately came together, according to the Hollywood reporter.
O’Dowd first came onto the scene when he appeared on The IT Crowd, a British sitcom, but he transitioned to Hollywood when he appeard in Bridesmaids, This is 40 and the hit HBO series Girls.
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